WCSG News

November 16

11/16/20 – New Potential Invasive Species Found in MI

A new invasive species has made its way to Michigan, but the extent of the invasion is still being determined. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is asking freight carriers, warehouse workers and delivery drivers to be on the lookout for invasive spotted lanternfly after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed dead spotted lanternfly insects were found in Michigan in recent weeks. While the specimens found were dead, these cases demonstrate one of the many ways this insect could find its way into the state. There is no evidence of established populations of spotted lanternfly […]
November 11

11/11/20 – Spectrum Health Makes Serious Changes to Deal With Virus

Higher rates of Covid-19 have prompted Spectrum Health leaders to make some changes. “As we’re having increasing demand with so much positivity, and so many people with symptoms in our community, we are prioritizing those with symptoms.  And so starting now, we will be prioritizing symptomatic patients for tests in the community and we will not be performing tests on people solely with exposure.” Dr. Darryl Elmouchi says Spectrum will also limit visitors to their facilities. Spectrum is seeing close to three hundred people hospitalized with the coronavirus. President and CEO Tina Freese Decker says the hospital system is facing […]
November 9

11/09/2020 – PFAS Study Conducted in West MI

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is launching the Michigan PFAS Exposure and Health Study (MiPEHS) to learn more about the relationship between PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) and health among residents who have been exposed to various levels of PFAS in their drinking water. The study will take place between 2020 and 2026 in Parchment and Cooper Township in Kalamazoo County and the Belmont and Rockford areas of Kent County. All eligible participants in Parchment, Cooper Township, Belmont and Rockford are scheduled to receive an enrollment packet in the mail from MDHHS by Nov. 30. If […]
November 9

11/9/20 – Florida Keys hit by Eta

HAVANA –(USATODAY) –  A strengthening Tropical Storm Eta made landfall on Florida’s Lower Matecumbe Key on Sunday night, days after leaving scores of dead and over 100 missing in Mexico and Central America. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami declared hurricane and storm surge warnings for the Keys from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas, including Florida Bay. Florida officials closed beaches, ports and COVID testing sites, shut down public transportation and urged residents to stay off the street. Several shelters also opened in Miami and the Florida Keys for residents in mobile homes and low lying areas. Broward […]
November 6

11/6/20 – Michigan GOP Claims Voter “Irregularities” Plague System

GOP leaders in Michigan are calling for an investigation. GOP chair Ronna McDaniel says some of their counting observers denied access to the tabulation room in Wayne County. “We call on Secretary of State Benson and Governor Whitmer to allow our canvassers, our watchers, to be able to have a meaningful presence in these canvasses.  So that we can have assurity that this is a fair and free election.” McDaniel says hundreds of GOP observers report they were intimidated by Detroit area workers and were not allowed back into the observation area if they went to the bathroom.  McDaniel also […]
November 5

11/5/20 – Peters Says Biggest Enemy is the Virus

US Senator Gary Peters stated the country needs a solution to the Coronavirus and needs it soon. Standing in front of the Goodison Cider Mill in Rochester, Peters applauded the effort of family and friends to help him win re-election.  Peter’s says now his attention is turning back to work in the Senate to see the number one priority of the country is to to get through this pandemic. “Nothing is more important for our country right now or for the people of the state of Michigan, is to get through the pandemic.  We’ve got to have a national strategy.” […]
November 5

11/5/20 – Court Rejects Trump Campaign Call To Halt Count

LANSING – The Michigan Court of Claims ruled today that a lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson was unlikely to succeed on the merits and denied a request by plaintiffs for immediate relief to stop the counting of ballots. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Press Secretary Ryan Jarvi released the following statement: “We are pleased with Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens’ swift action in today’s hearing on Trump v Benson to deny the relief requested by plaintiffs. She identified the same defects in the campaign’s filings as we did, namely a complete […]
November 4

11/4/20 – WCSG Vote 2020 – After Election Update

4:30PM Update Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden is not declaring victory but is stating that he believes when the counting is finished, he will be the next President of the United States. “So once this election is finalized, and behind us, it will be time for us to do what we’ve always done as Americans.  To put the harsh rhetoric of the campaign behind us.  To lower the temperature.  To see each other again.” Biden, flanked by his running mate Kamala Harris, says it will be time to come together as a nation and heal. “I also know this as […]
October 29

10/29/20 – New Orders Cover Restaurants and Gatherings to Combat Covid-19 in Michigan

LANSING, MICH. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) today revised and extended its epidemic order to contain the spread of COVID-19, as Michigan continues to see a surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Although most of the order is unchanged, new provisions target indoor gatherings where COVID has spread most rapidly. Michigan presently has 172 cases per million people and positivity of tests has increased from about 2% to 5.5% and both indicators have been increasing for over four weeks. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 have doubled over the last three weeks while the state death rate has increased […]
October 28

10/28/20 – Whitmer, Benson Warn Voter Misinformation Will Increase

The concern this time isn’t about voter turn-out.  It’s about voter misinformation. Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson wanted to remind residents that voting is underway in record numbers.  However, both stated that outside groups will try to discourage or mislead Michigan voters through and up to Election Day. Whitmer says Michigan has emerged as a leader in facilitating historic voting during the pandemic and the effort to inform voters has also required a historic effort to properly inform voters. One of the misleading messages being publicized is that the longer a vote takes to count, the […]
October 27

10/27/20 – County Absentee Ballot Requests Surpass 200K

Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons calls it the largest influx of absentee ballot voting. 205,073 absentee ballots have been issued one week ahead of the November election.  Compared to 2016, there were 70,779 ballots requested with a 90 percent return rate. Lyons says right now, around 30 percent of this year’s ballots have not been returned but she expects a very good return rate, based on historical precedent. With seven days to go, the deadline for an absentee ballot to be mailed out to voters is this Friday.  Voters should return them to a secure drop box in the […]
October 26

Expired: 10/26/20 -Presidential campaigning in Michigan

-Presidential candidates view Michigan as a key state in the upcoming General Election. President Trump plans to return to Michigan for a rally on Tuesday.  He will hold a 2 p.m. rally in Lansing at the Capital Region International Airport.                                                                             This marks the third visit of the President to the state this month. Meanwhile, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will make appearances in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Benton Harbor today,  as part of the Biden for President Michigan campaign.                                         Gov. Whitmer has been scheduled on a four-day tour for the Biden campaign’s “Soul of the Nation” Early Vote Bus Tour .   […]
October 23

10/23/20 – MSU To Open More On-Campus Housing, Classes for Spring Semester

Michigan State University plans to open up the campus a little more for the Spring Semester. In a letter to students, President Samuel Stanley announced more on-campus housing, around 400 in person classes with a focus on ones students need in order to graduate on time.  Students living on campus must participate in a Covid-19 Early Detection program. Stanley credits the efforts of students and staff to adhere to protocols which have enabled them to make this decision.  Among others: Spring semester for undergraduate classes will start as scheduled Jan. 11, 2021. Approximately 2,500 additional single-occupancy residence hall spaces will […]
October 23

10/23/20 – FDA Ok’s Redesivir For Covid-19 Treatment

Remdesivir, an antiviral treatment used in COVID-19 cases, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat hospitalized patients. President Donald Trump credited the treatment for speeding his recovery after testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Now that the FDA has given Remdesivir emergency authorization, it is now the first treatment approved for COVID-19 patients and, as of Friday, remains the only treatment. With hospitalization rates rising around the country and health officials warning of a new wave of outbreaks, now attention is what kind of impact the treatment will have on the fatality rate. Utah Governor Gary Herbert says state hospitals are […]
October 23

10/23/20 – Trump and Biden spar over health care, family ties and COVID in final presidential debate

Americans were given one last chance to hear President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden make their final pitches before the November 3 election. The debate took place at Belmont University in Nashville on Thursday night. Thursday, both candidates were more subdued and, besides a few interruptions, the debate went far more smoothly than the last. Still, the two traded barbs over a series of issues such as COVID-19, trade wars, the crisis at the border, healthcare, race and the Supreme Court. However, the most contentious moment was when President Trump and Biden sparred over their family’s records and spent a […]
October 21

10/21/20 – Peter Secchia Passes Away at 83

One of the major philanthropists in West Michigan has passed away. Peter Secchia passed away at his home this morning.  A spokesperson says the long-time businessman had recently contracted Covid and was being treated at home. Secchia’s family immigrated to the United States and settled in Michigan.  After serving in the US Military, Secchia went to school at Michigan State University where he remained one of the schools biggest fans and supporter.  After graduation, he went to work and later owned Universal Forest Products.  He served as an ambassador to Italy under the George H.W. Bush administration and was known […]
October 19

10/19/20 – 100th Street Bridge Over 131 Re-opens to Fanfare

After suffering 13 collisions with semi-trucks and other vehicles from January to May of 2018, the 100th Street Bridge over US-131 has finally been elevated. The structure has seen its fair share of trucks crashing into the bridge, many of them with illegally high loads according to the Michigan Department of Transportation. MDOT Crews began working in 2018 to elevate the bridge but that’s not the only improvements.  100th Street itself was widened from Division Avenue with an approximately 14-foot pedestrian path over the highway.  Connecting sidewalks along the south side of 100th Street progress to Division Avenue.  The rebuild […]
October 16

10/16/2020 – MI Secretary of State Offers Guidance on Guns

Michigan’s Secretary of State is offering guidance prohibiting guns within 100 feet of a polling place.  Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has issued her guidance to clerks throughout the state. A letter sent out prohibit guns owners from bringing a firearm into a polling location.  This extends to Clerk’s offices and absentee vote counting locations. Benson says the guidance, released less than three weeks before the November 3rd Election Day, is meant to eliminate confusion for both workers and voters. “The presence of firearms at the polling place, clerk’s office(s), or absent voter counting board may cause disruption, fear or […]
October 8

BREAKING NEWS – Alleged Conspiracy Plot Foiled to Kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Michigan State Police have arrested six people, some from West Michigan, in a plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Multiple raids were conducted across the state last night in an effort to expose and break up the plot that included taking the Governor out of state for a trial in which they would charge her with treason. According to the criminal complaint, the group dubbed itself ‘Wolverine Watchmen’ and began meeting, including at one point in Grand Rapids, to discuss operational plans, conduct tactical training, and make efforts to recruit other members.  Organizers of the […]
October 6

10/6/20 – New Guidelines Announced For Reporting New Covid-19 Cases

Michigan’s Department of Health And Human Services Director has issued emergency orders affecting the state’s most vulnerable populations and those who care for them. Director Robert Gordon issued the orders saying it’s an effort to ensure “the health and safety of vulnerable Michiganders and those under our care is of utmost importance.” Gordon says “This order reestablishes protections that have helped Michigan sharply reduce the loss of life in nursing homes. With the level of COVID in Michigan rising again, these protections are more critical than ever.” With respect to notice, under the order, all covered facilities must: Notify employees […]
October 2

10/02/20 – BREAKING NEWS – President Trump Being Moved to Walter Reed Medical Center

UPDATE 6:33pm (EST) President Donald Trump has arrived at Walter Reed Medical Center and will be ushered into the Presidential wing of the hospital.  He will have a private room but also an area for work, additional staff and a dining area.  First Lady Melania Trump was not with him and will remain at the White House. The White House is saying the plans are for the President to remain at the hospital for two days.  However, the President will need to remain quarantined for at least 10 days.   UPDATE 6:19pm (EST) – President Trump walked to Marine One […]
October 2

10/2/20 – New Voter Guide Out

For people who are searching for more information on voting this election, you have another option. Citizens for Traditional Values is announcing the annual Michigan Family Forum voter guide.  The non-partisan guide covers multiple, major organizations that are typically involved in the political system.  The guide shows which candidates have received the endorsements of those organizations. The guide is also broken down by county and shows the major ballot issues, as well as candidates running for office from those counties. You can learn more through this electronic version of the guide at MFF Voting Guide.
October 2

Expired: 10/2/20 – Code Blue Drive collects coats for Mel Trotter

Mel Trotter Ministries kicked off their annual “Code Blue Drive” and between now and December 31st they are collecting new or like-new winter weather items to help keep homeless neighbors warm. “Code blue” is a term used by MTM to describe the most extreme winter conditions in West Michigan, when temperatures fall significantly and stay below freezing over a period of time – putting men, women and children who are exposed to the elements at severe risk of hypothermia, frost bite or even death. Keep your neighbors in need safe and warm this season by donating items to protect them from […]
October 2

10/2/20 – Important Moments In The Women’s Suffrage Movement

During this election, the importance of voting is becoming a critical issue. In August of 1920, women won the right to vote in the United States. American women began campaigning for the right to vote in the 1820’s. Part of their inspiration arose from Native Americans such as the Iroquois who had long recognized the importance of women in decision making. These tribes afforded rights to women, including the right to vote and depose leaders, and had done so for centuries. Many leaders in the suffrage movement met with Native Americans and one of the early leaders, Matilda Joslyn Gage […]
October 1

10/1/20 – GVSU Covid-19 Cases Decline; Moves to “Stay Safe” Order

As a result of improved conditions, Grand Valley State University will move from a “stay in place” to “stay safe” order. Greg Sanial, GVSU Vice President for Finance and Administration and interim director of the Virus Action Team formally announced the plan but says its a result of GVSU students complying with the original order over the last several weeks. “We continue to monitor all of our cases very carefully.  We are not seeing the clusters anymore that we saw at the very beginning, when the University opened and we went back to instruction, and all the students were back […]
September 30

9/30/2020 – Grand Rapids Launches E-Scooter Share Program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City and micromobility partner Spin, owned by Ford Motor Company, are launching an e-scooter share program today in Grand Rapids. The pilot program includes a phased deployment of e-scooters in a 12 square-mile area including downtown, neighborhoods and business districts. The pilot also will serve 74 percent of underserved neighborhoods to evaluate how shared micromobility services can contribute to Grand Rapids’ multi-modal transportation system. Spin will deploy 300 scooters and scale up its fleet to as many as 1,500 to match demand.   Through the Spin app, riders can sign up and view the map to […]
September 29

9/29/20 – Governor Gets Worried As Cases Rise

Governor Gretchen Whitmer cites a growing number of Coronavirus cases in Northern Michigan as call for concern. Speaking in Houghton, Whitmer says many of the cases are popping up in the southwest corner of Northern Michigan.  This is affecting schools, universities, and businesses who are trying to get back on their feet.  Tourism is a huge part of the Northern Michigan economy and shutting down for months has certainly impacted their business. Whitmer cited a program, the State’s Small Business Restart Grant Program for making a huge difference in improving the situation. “More than 10-thousand small businesses and non-profits around […]
September 29

9/29/20 – Election ballot: Michigan ballot proposals

In addition to casting votes for the presidency and a slew of federal, state and local offices, Michigan voters will be deciding the fate of two statewide proposals sent to the ballot by the state legislature. Both Proposal 1 and Proposal 2 would change Michigan’s Constitution — one would change how Michigan’s Natural Resources Trust Fund works to allow for more flexibility on funding state and local park projects, and the other would define electronic data as private property, meaning state and local law enforcement would need a warrant before searching a person’s emails or phone records. Lawmakers already voted […]
September 28

9/28/20 – Wyoming Police Say Homicide Victim Had Been Helping Others

Wyoming – Police say Elmer Geovany Lopez Toi and Santos Padilla Bendagas were victims of an as of yet, unsolved double homicide.  But police hope a video may spur someone to come forward. Back on September 16th just before 5pm, the pair were murdered near Division and Wilbur.  Police say it appears the two were the targets of a drive by shooting.  However, police say the two were not involved in any criminal activity and there’s no indication they were doing anything illegal that brought this violence upon them.  The vehicle is described as a dark-colored 2010-11 GMC Acadia which […]
September 25

9/25/20 – Breonna Taylor’s Family Calls for Release of Grand Jury Testimony

Louisville, KY – Lawyers for the family of Breonna Taylor are calling for the Attorney General to release the testimony from the Grand Jury who issued three charges against one officer, but none connected directly to the death of Taylor. Lawyer Benjamin Krump says the testimony would show how hard Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron pushed for any charges related to actions taken by police that caused Taylor’s death.  Cameron earlier this week called her death a tragedy but said the law looks for facts, not feelings. Breonna Taylor’s mother prepared a statement but it was read by her sister.  […]